Facebook fails customer satisfaction test
meteoric growth – almost 500 million members and counting – the leading
social networking site Facebook
has a customer satisfaction problem. At least that’s the conclusion of
online research company ForeSee Results, which for the first time
included social networking activity in its annual satisfaction ratings
for e-commerce and e-business.
In fact, Facebook’s score of 64 on
the American Customer Satisfaction
Index (ACSI) scale of 100 puts it in the bottom 5% of all measured
private sector companies, alongside perennial low-scorers like airlines
and cable providers.
So what’s behind the apparent
dissatisfaction with a company that’s exhibited phenomenal growth even
by the Internet’s own elevated standards, and one which can count
two-thirds of all U.S.-based Internet users as customers?
with most customer satisfaction problems it appears to be a combination
of factors, including Facebook’s recent and much-publicized privacy
issues. However, according to ForeSee Results president and CEO, Larry
Freed, privacy isn't the biggest gripe. “Instead, [members] were more
concerned with frequent changes to the site's interface, the technology
that controls news feeds, and spam,” said Freed in an interview with The
Wall Street Journal's Digits
Freed contrasted Facebook with Wikipedia, the site
that scored highest in the social media space with 77. It has basically
had the same user interface for years, providing a level of familiarity
that generally leads to a higher satisfaction rating.
tricky issue facing Facebook is the diversity of
its community. “When you think about Facebook three years ago versus
now, it has a much more diverse audience than it did before,” said
Freed, referring to the number of over-35s that have come on board.
“Facebook has to learn how to deal with consumers across a broad range
as they make changes.”
In other results, Google still leads the
search category with a score of 80, although Microsoft’s Bing made a
strong debut with 77, followed by AOL with 74 and Ask.com with 73. And in the news and
information category, FOXnews.com
again proved dominant with a score of 82, the highest score of any news
site in the nine years of measurement.